I know it’s been a bit of Doom and gloom!

October 31, 2010

Trust me I’m there myself. It looks to get a lot worse before it gets better or at least stable. From what I am seeing the Fed is actively courting inflation perhaps hyper-inflation. http://www.zerohedge.com/
No you won’t see these stories on the main-stream media. Just like you won’t see the stories of banks and feds shredding your Mortgages note to repackage as a security. Or of the world food shortage that is causing prices to rise. If you have gone grocery shopping lately you have seen it. Honestly, has Jim Cramer of MSNBC been right about anything in the last 3 years?
Now hopefully you have done your MSP (Modified Stationary Panic) and are wondering what to do next…
Get basics now! Food, water, sanitation and security. If you have those items look at how you can get out of  the system. Grow your own food and meat or hunt.  Generate your own power, buy local and not from corporations. Make your own entertainment and turn off the boob tube. Ammo and gun prices are coming down a bit. Now is a great time to buy some of those items. Look at what rich folks and countries are doing.  They are buying commodities and PM’s (Precious Metals). Hard assets, they are not buying up I phones or I pads but metals, wheat, rice and corn, Coffee and cocoa. Why do you think they are buying those things now? Do your own research.

Flirtin’ with Disaster

October 30, 2010

Gosh, stuff is hitting the fan, and I think that sucker has been turned up to high!
I really hoped we had more time to get prepared but heck I always hope that is the case. There is always more to do, more stuff to learn and more stuff to get.  I don’t think I’ll ever be as ready as I would like to be. Oh sure I can get by and have done it. I had a big vet bill and lived about 2 months without grocery shopping. Just my own little disaster. Let’s just say you have a vet bill comes up that is equal to half of your monthly income. Well like most folks I would do anything for my dog if at all possible.
A few things I learned:
First have an emergency fund. I don’t care if you start it off with $10.00. Start building one immediately and make it a part of your budget.  Use the 70,10,10,10 rule. 70% you live on, 10% for emergencies, 10% You pay yourself(savings) and 10% tithe/charity. Trust me there is a method to my madness.

  1. Can you live on 70% of your take home pay? If you can’t why not? Is it debt? Do you have loans? Do you eat out a lot? How about you cable/sat tv do you have all the channels? Your cell phone, is it for communication or do you use it as a toy? Look at what you need as opposed to what you want. 
  2. 10% for emergencies; I use my dog as an example but it could be a major repair on a car or any number of minor emergencies that happen in life. 
  3. 10% for savings, Pay yourself, you work hard (I hope) for your paycheck. You are not machine. I believe all humans have a “Divine Spark” within them. Yes you deserve a few treats for what you do, just don’t put it on a credit card. This way you control the money and don’t become a slave to debt.
  4. Charity/Tithe: It can be anything church related or a cause you believe in. This has so many returns but if you give to the poor your not poor. You can call it Karma, or what “goes around comes around”. But I have never met anyone who gives to charity and did not feel good about themselves. 

Now I don’t know your financial circumstance. One reason I go with percentages. You may have to start off just getting to 70% budget to live on. It can/will be difficult. But in preparedness you must assess where you are and where you want to go. You won’t hit the lottery and the bad stuff won’t go away just cause you ignore it. “Don’t Panic” I think we have about 6-9 months time to get the real critical needs at decent price.
But let’s say I’m from the future and I say there will a bank run/ Bank Holiday on Dec.7th and you can’t withdrawal any money  from an ATM, no checks will accepted at any store and all banks are closed for next 6 days. What would you do, what’s a priority now?  You have a month to think about it.

Trying to catch up on all the stuff going on in the USA

October 25, 2010

The Mortgage Crisis, don’t be suckered kids this consists of more than few “paperwork errors” According to the Law this is fraud on a felony scale and system wide in the banking industry. We are looking at billions if not Trillions of dollars of losses that major banks will be sued for and the lawyers are lining up to get a piece of pie that does not exist. Contracts have been shredded, not properly transferred sliced, diced and repackaged.
We are starting a trade war devaluing our dollar not only against China but the whole world. To boost our exports and limit our imports. If you have gone shopping you have seen this raising costs already. (Smoot-Hawley act)
The Feds are not only recreating the actions that made a depression “The Great Depression” but are doing the same thing that the Weimar Republic did for it’s debt after WWI. I don’t think they can hold it together much longer. I’m not sure how the Feds will react. I’m guessing price controls and rationing. But I don’t know for sure.

  1. Food and Fuel; Get it now before the price rises or price controls and rationing kick in.
  2. Get as Debt free as soon possible.
  3. Have some cash and Precious metals on hand to pay bills and preserve wealth.

I maybe wrong and the feds may save us. LOL All of the items will last for awhile and are always good to have on hand. You really can’t go wrong by doing those 3 things first.

Working with cash? Actual greenbacks.

October 25, 2010

I’m trying something new and moving away from using my Debit card and withdrawing actually cash to pay bills and buy groceries and the stuff I need. One of the big reasons for doing this I have been hearing the term “Bank Holiday” bandied about lately, and a couple of stories of electronic purchasing systems going down causing chaos in stores. Then there was that Bank of America story that they (BoA) would hold your cash for 7 days before allowing a withdrawal.  So I thought I’d forgo that whopping .025% and make sure I had some greenbacks to make purchases and pay bills.
I’d like to say it was a seamless transfer but I did hit a couple of bumps along the way. I knew I paid a lot of my bills online but I didn’t realize just how easy it is to just press a button and it’s paid rather than going down to the city to pay the water bill in cash. My attitude changed as well at the local grocery store. Swiping the card is quick. So quick you almost don’t think about it. Now I always have it budgeted about what I will spend, but  I focused on the budget not the actual dollars I was spending. When I had to break a $20.00 or a $100.00 bill how much I just spent seemed more real. My attitude about my surroundings changed as well. I became much more aware of who was around me just by carrying cash. I changed from being somewhat blase’ to actually looking for threats. Not paranoia, just a heightened level of awareness. 
So far I  think this a good idea, though I have some extra steps to take and some more tweaking to do with this system. I think I ‘ll have most of the kinks worked out pretty quickly.

P.S. Bonus, I can collect all that change I don’t normally get and save it in the coin jar for a “Fun Day” or next year’s gift fund.

Some Bread recipes I like using

October 25, 2010

 No-Knead Bread  Tastes like Ciabatta bread.
* 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
    * 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
    * 3 cups water
    * 6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough (*you can replace about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of white flour with any whole grain flour with great results).
    * Cornmeal

      1. In a large bowl, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups warm water. Add flour, and stir to combine completely. Let dough rise in a warm place for at least two hours, until it rises and collapses (up to 5 hours – or even overnight won’t hurt it). The dough may be baked at this point, or refrigerated for later use.

      2. Cover dough, but make sure it is not airtight – gases need to escape – and place in fridge. When you are ready to use it, throw a small fistful of flour on the surface and use a serrated knife to cut off a piece of the size you desire. (The authors recommend a 1 pound loaf – which means cutting off grapefruit-sized piece of dough). Turning the dough in your hands, stretch the surface of the dough and tuck in under. The surface will be smooth, and the bottom with be bunched.

      3. Dust a pizza peel (or any flat surface – I use a rimless cookie sheet) with cornmeal. (This prevents sticking, and adds a nice, rustic crunch. You can use flour instead, but you’ll need to use a very generous dusting). Allow dough to rest in a warm place for 40 minutes – longer (up to an hour and a half) if you use some whole wheat flour in place of the white, or if you make a larger loaf.

      4. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees with baking stone (or overturned baking sheet) inside on the middle rack, plus a shallow pan on the top rack. Throw a small fistful of flour over the dough, slash it 2-4 times with a serrated knife (in a cross, a tic-tac-toe, or a fan), and slide it into the oven, onto the baking stone. Throw 1-2 cups of tap water into the shallow pan, and quickly shut the oven door to trap steam inside. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crust is well browned and bread sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom.

One-Hour French Bread
1½ cups warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
3 – 4 cups flour (any combination of white and whole wheat)

Preheat oven 450º. Combine water, salt, honey, and yeast in a medium bowl. Let sit 5 – 10 minutes, until bubbling. Add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon, until dough is no longer sticky (I’ll sometimes dump the dough out onto the cutting board with what flour is in the bowl and roll it around,adding a bit more flour, until it’s not sticky). Roll dough into a 12 – 14″ roll (or you can divide it in half and roll it into two long skinny baguettes). Place dough roll(s) on a cookie sheet (this won’t work in a bread pan), greased or sprayed with non-stick spray, cover, and let sit 20 minutes. Make diagonal slits, 1/2″ deep, on top with a razor blade. (Optional: spray with salt water). Bake 20 minutes.

Spice Bread
1 Tbsp. Active Dry Yeast

 1 1/2 Cup Warm Water (110-115 degrees)

4 Cups Sifted Flour

1 Tbsp. Sugar

1 Tsp. Kosher Salt

1 Tsp. Onion Salt

Egg Whites for Glazing

Fennel Seed (optional- or I like to use Rosemary)

Grated Parmesan Cheese (to taste)

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water.  Then, sift the dry ingredients and stir them into the yeast mixture (this includes the fennel seeds and parmesan).  Next, work the dough with your hands until all the flour is absorbed.  Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Then, place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size. (Suggestion: keep a pot of boiling water on the stove and place your dough bowl near it- it helps activate the yeast).

2. Remove the dough from the bowl and punch it down.  Divide the dough and shape it into long narrow loaves.  Place the loaves on parchment paper or a silpat and onto a cookie sheet.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise again.

3. Brush the top of the loaves with egg whites and sprinkle more fennel seeds on top.  Place into the pre-heated oven for about 35 minutes.  At 30 minutes, brush the loaves with egg whites again.

Beer Bread
make 1 loaf, prep 5 min, cook 50 min

    * 3 cups self rising flour
    * 1/2 cup sugar
    * 12 oz beer

   1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a loaf pan.
   2. Combine all three ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well.
   3. Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until loaf is golden brown.
   4. Rub hot loaf all over with butter to soften the crust and cool on a rack.

If you don’t buy self-rising flour you can use the following as a substitute:

    * 3 scant cups all-purpose flour
    * 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
    * 1 tsp salt

    * 2 tablespoons sugar
    * 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    * 1 tablespoon pure olive oil
    * 3/4 cup warm water
    * 2 cups bread flour (for bread machines)or Pizza Flour. You want a High protein flour.
    * 1 teaspoon instant yeast
    * 2 teaspoons olive oil
    * Olive oil, for the pizza crust
    * Flour, for dusting the pizza peel


Place the sugar, salt, olive oil, water, 1 cup of flour, yeast, and remaining cup of flour into the mixer’s work bowl.

Using the paddle attachment, start the mixer on low and mix until the dough just comes together, forming a ball. Lube the hook attachment with cooking spray. Attach the hook to the mixer and knead for 15 minutes on medium speed.

Tear off a small piece of dough and flatten into a disc. Stretch the dough until thin. Hold it up to the light and look to see if the baker’s windowpane, or taut membrane, has formed. If the dough tears before it forms, knead the dough for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Roll the pizza dough into a smooth ball on the countertop. Place into a stainless steel or glass bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.

Place the pizza stone or tile onto the bottom of a cold oven and turn the oven to its highest temperature, about 500 degrees F. If the oven has coils on the oven floor, place the tile onto the lowest rack of the oven.

Split the pizza dough into 2 equal parts using a knife or a dough scraper. Flatten into a disk onto the countertop and then fold the dough into a ball.

Wet hands barely with water and rub them onto the countertop to dampen the surface. Roll the dough on the surface until it tightens. Cover one ball with a tea towel and rest for 30 minutes.

Repeat the steps with the other piece of dough. If not baking the remaining pizza immediately, spray the inside of a ziptop bag with cooking spray and place the dough ball into the bag. Refrigerate for up to 6 days.

Sprinkle the flour onto the peel and place the dough onto the peel. Using your hands, form a lip around the edges of the pizza. Stretch the dough into a round disc, rotating after each stretch. Toss the dough in the air if you dare. Shake the pizza on the peel to be sure that it will slide onto the pizza stone or tile. (Dress and bake the pizza immediately for a crisp crust or rest the dough for 30 minutes if you want a chewy texture.)

Brush the rim of the pizza with olive oil. Spread the pizza sauce evenly onto the pizza. Sprinkle the herbs onto the pizza and top with the cheese.

Slide the pizza onto the tile and bake for 7 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Rest for 3 minutes before slicing.

Sorry kids been a bit beat up.

October 21, 2010

I want to post at least 2 o3 times this week but I got a bit beat up and my CIDP kicked in on high-gear. So a bit bloody and battled but still here and unbroken. Weather seems to Kick my but,
Mom had a cancer skin-cell taken off. It looks good outside of her new haircut and the nurses tried very hard to to do a natural thing on the hair. Not sure if Mom was more freked about the cancer or her new doo. LOL

I got a another 50# of rice and some more Hi-protien flour for my little “pizza survival kit”.  A couple of grinders of sea salt , peppercorns and I’m  looking at a winter garrden. I’m not” Hip”, I don’t know how to play to the “Media”, I  can’t leave my garden for 2 weeks while I go to Spain.  I don’t know who is growing the White House garden, But I’d like some tips as long as it dose not involve open sewage. 

It’s on! How will you protect yourself and family?

October 18, 2010

I knew we in the USA were rushing towards an “Economic collapse”. I just hoped it would take longer to happen. Sorry kids, I think in the next  3-6 months we need to top off our inventories. If you are new to prepping get hot and focused. Your cable and Satellite TV is no longer important. Keep you Internet connection but downsize if possible. The info you get off the Internet can save money on books down-lodes and data.
If you have done prepping as an extra can of soup or vegies now you need to get right. Commodities have sky rocket in price. You have a little lag time till it works down to your local store. All food prices are going up across the board. You may find some great buys now while stores clean out old inventory and bring in new and higher cost items.
There is good news with the bad “Hard goods” are deflating. Good for a consumer not good for manufactures.
Now kids I hope we have 3-6 months of stable prices. I maybe wrong and the feds and Wall street will make it all work out right.  We can all keep working our jobs and paying our bills. But if I’m right and food and energy cost explode! Think about $5.00 a gallon gas or heating oil. You did buy heating oil and not put it off?  

I’ll have a sale price shopping list up on Wed. 20 Oct.2010. If you have ever been a storm you know the quiet is scary. Where will you be when the Gust front hits. Down the cellar or driving around for handouts?